I told my friend from Illinois I was going to do a post on my blog about Hawaiian Mac Salad. She asked me what that was. WHAAA?!?!! Then I realized—oh, I didn’t know what Hawaiian Mac Salad was before I moved out here either. I guess Hawaiian Mac Salad is kind of exclusive to Hawaii, and uh, Las Vegas. That and ABC stores. Thank you Hawaiian population :) We are so lucky to have both of these things out here.
There is only one thing you need to know about Hawaiian Mac Salad: MAYONNAISE. Seriously. That is what makes the Mac Salad Hawaiian. And it will always be a little sweet. I went to a party last weekend for my Hawaiian friend (it was so legit, they had an entire pit-roasted pig sitting on the counter) and had some of their mac salad—sweet mayo-y heaven. And luckily, it was very close to the recipe I’ve made below. Mmmm. I may have gotten 2nds...or 3rds....of it.
I went on a limb for this one, trying to find a good beer to accompany the sweetness of the salad. As I was browsing the enormous beer selection at the store, I couldn’t really find anything I liked, so I grabbed a Maui Brewing Company Mana wheat ale to go with the whole Hawaiian theme. It wasn’t until I got home and popped a top that I realized it had Pineapple juice brewed right in with it…ohhhhh man, what a pairing!
This beer goes with the salad like peanut butter and jelly. The beer is sweet, the salad is sweet. The carbonation of the beer lifts all that delicious mayo fattiness off your tongue. And the chicken recipe I’ve also paired with the salad has pineapple juice right in the marinade. There couldn’t have been a better match. I’m so proud of myself.
The Maui Brewing Company Mana Wheat is a unique beer…as I said, it is sweet, and the pineapple juice in it is very prominent. Look at the picture below...doesn't it look like a glass of orange juice?! It’s a great beer for a hot day as it is light and spritzy. It almost drinks like a sauvignon blanc (similar tropical fruit notes in it) if you’re a wine fan and want to venture out. Or it’s a great beer to give to your friends that only want a “sweet” beverage. I think this beer is best drank on its own or with other sweet foods. It would also go well with barbecued foods with sweet sauces or even with ice cream, like an Orange-Julius.
The recipe I’ve provided was adapted from I Believe I Can Fry—check out her site for a little background on Hawaiian Mac Salad! Her recipe makes a great base and I added some seasonings for added flavor. You can add whatever you want to this salad to make it your own…tuna and olives seem to be common additions, but not my thing. You can serve this with my Hawaiian Chicken recipe or at your next BBQ, or heck, just to have it on its own! But I’m warning you, you will probably be hooked after your first bite and soon enough will be dreaming about the next time you can have it.
Sweet Mayo Hawaiian Mac Salad
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 15 mins
- 1 lb elbow macaroni noodles
- 1/2 Cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Cups Hellman's (aka Best Foods) mayonnaise, divided
- 2 Cups whole milk, divided
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 2 medium carrots, shredded
- 1 stalk celery, minced very small
- 2 green onions, heavily chopped
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Put macaroni in pot and bring back to a boil. Let cook for 12-15 minutes, until VERY soft. Drain and place back in pot.
- Immediately pour apple cider vinegar over the macaroni. Stir to combine evenly. Let cool for about 10 minutes
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 Cups of the milk and 1 Cup of the mayonnaise. Add brown sugar, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- After the pasta has cooled for approx. 10 minutes, combine the mayonnaise mixture with the macaroni. Cover pasta and place in the refrigerator until it has cooled completely.
- When completely cooled, add the final 1 Cup of Mayonnaise and 1/2 Cup of Milk. Stir in the carrots, celery, and onions. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- **Salad gets better with time! If you can resist eating it, let the flavors meld overnight before serving!**